Square Peg, Round Hole?
[dc]I[/dc] love my sneakers. They’re super cute with fun colors. The truth is, they don’t really fit well. They’re ¼ size too small. The next size up was too big, so I went with these. And the left one randomly comes untied for no reason.
Each time I wear them, I tell myself that I should’ve returned them, but it’s too late now. Besides, I don’t want to part with them. But really, they don’t fit all that well.
This got me thinking. How many of us hang onto something in our lives that isn’t a fit? And why do we do it? Take a quick assessment of your world. Is your job a fit? Your relationship? The quality of your friendships? Your wardrobe? Your belief system?
Maybe you’re holding onto something out of habit, fear, unconsciousness, or perceived obligation?
Think about that friend of yours who barely shows up to your time together. She may physically be there, but emotionally and energetically, she’s checked out. Or, worse yet, she bulldozes you with her “all about me” tales and never asks about you. Do you continue to get together out of obligation to your years of knowing each other? Just a heads up — she’s taking the space of a new, fun, invested friend who’s waiting in the wings, or a great romantic relationship, or even a new job.
How about those size 8 jeans that have been in your closet for 10 years because you just know you’ll get back into them? Guess what? They don’t fit. It’s time for them to go. And guess what? By keeping them, you’re actually increasing the chances of never wearing them again.
Right now, they sit there, taunting you, telling you that you’re not good enough because you’re not thin enough. Seeking motivation from a self-punitive place is almost always a recipe for disaster. Get rid of the jeans and send a new message to yourself that you’re beautiful and “enough” just the way you are. That attitude will have you at the store buying a new pair of size 8s again sooner (and ones that are actually in style).
While it can be bittersweet to say goodbye to an old friend, whatever form that friend comes in, you’ll ultimately be doing yourself a favor by making space for something better suited for you.
If you’re struggling with the idea of letting something or someone go, try this:
- Grab a notebook or your journal and write the following at the top of the page, “What would my life look and feel like if __________ was no longer a part of it?” and let the thoughts flow. Even if the item is the size 8 jeans, go for it!
- Now put this freewriting aside for 24 hours. Then come back to re-read what you wrote, and try to read it as a loving parent listening compassionately to a child. That’s really who is speaking on that page – the younger, more vulnerable part of you.
- Based on what you read, identify what it is that child needs to feel ok/safe without that person or item. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get rid of it/them. Your goal here is simply to reclaim some power back from this ill-fitting item by imagining your life without it. In fact, after doing this, you may find that it fits enough to keep.
As far as my sneakers go, although a friend has lovingly offered to take them off my hands (or feet, I should say), I think I’ll hang onto them. After going through the above steps, I’ve determined they make me more happy than not.
OK, dear reader, now I’d love to hear from you. What no longer fits in your life? Do you have any tips on getting rid of what no longer serves us? Please join the conversation in the comments below.
We did that a while back when we had family clean out day at our home.
I think I let a couple of things go I should have kept
However it sure made a difference around here and the added space
is uncluttered thanks to you and the rest of the help
Thanks for writing, Daddy OOOO. It can feel so good to let go of things we no longer need, and certainly, we can get a bit over-motivated sometimes and purge more than we thought. However, when you think of those things that you let go of that you wish you had kept, do you find you miss those things often? Were they information-based items or memory-type collectibles? How can you welcome their energy back into your life even if you don’t have the physical item?
My sense is if you got rid of them, deep down you know you didn’t need them. Perhaps, instead, you allowed yourself to feel a bit pressured by your helpers. There’s a lesson in there for you, too.
Some food for thought….
I’m going to do this exercise this week filling in the blank with my current job. I’ve been avoiding really thinking about it, but this will be a good way to start the process. Thanks so much for sharing this. I think this will be a very helpful exercise!
How did the exercise go, Ellen? Would love to hear! I hope you found it helpful.